Edelweiss_Passaic_Bavarian_Folk_Dancers_(6)So what better month to salute the sounds, scenery and seasonal fare of Germany than the Oktoberfest interlude of autumn?

Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday afternoon, the MAC plays host to a weekend-long Oktoberfestival that “goes beyond the biergarten;” drawing upon the resources of the 23,000-square-foot facility to honor “Das Land der Dichter und Denker” — the country of poets and thinkers.

With an event that highlights German music, dance and painting, even as it keeps one lederhosen’d leg planted firmly in the fun-filled fundamentals of Oktoberfest revelry, Savor the Arts Germany kicks off on Friday with an exhibition of German art in the MAC’s main gallery. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., aspiring artists can paint the European countryside while sipping Rheinish wines during a Paint and Sip session — while at 8 p.m., the MAC’s resident dance instructor Richard Givney invites particpants of all ages and abilities to learn the polka.

Saturday’s activities start in family-friendly fashion at 11 a.m. with a bilingual German/English performance of Little Red Riding Hood by the Galli Theater Group of New York. Afterward, the German Language School will sponsor activities for children that include stein races, pretzel toss competitions, and lebkuchen (cookie) decorating.  From 2 to 6 p.m., celebrants can raise their steins during an Oktoberfest featuring the Firehouse Polka Band, the Edelweiss Passaic Dancers (pictured) and a sampling smorgasbord of regional craft beers. Phil Ward of the International Riesling Foundation will be on hand that evening offering oenophiles a tasting introduction to German and Austrian wines.

The festival concludes on Sunday with an afternoon’s worth of educational presentations on German art, music and culture — a program that includes a 2 p.m. discussion of “Bach to Brahms: Fascinating German Composers” by Dr. Robert Butts of the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey.

Admission to the various offerings in the Savor the Arts Germany festival ranges from free of charge to $35; take it here for full schedule details.